As I’ve shared before, people do in fact Google the darndest things. Recently, someone found my blog when they googled (or more accurately, asked Jeeves) “Why don’t Jamaicans like frogs?”
Ooooh! Ooooh! I can answer that one! Pick me! Pick me!
Thank you. Ahem.
Now then, the answer is simple. Frogs are disgusting.
As I think about all the various creatures one could encounter growing up in Jamaica, frogs probably rank highest in overall “revulsion factor.” The revulsion factor, in case you’re not aware, is comprised of three components: outdoors, low-dwelling & slimy.
The more of these criteria a particular creature meets, the greater the revulsion factor. So, based on the above, you can see that even rats and roaches don’t rank as high (or low) as frogs do. Rats are dry. Even lizards, of which I have a personal and unmitigated distaste, don’t rank as high (or low) as frogs. Lizards are tree and wall-dwellers.
Of course, if you’re a child growing up in the “country” as I did, then you’d only see frogs come out at night, and it’s a terrifying experience to have to use an outhouse in the late evening, and step on a low-dwelling, slimy, squishy frog. So, there’s also the fear factor too. That’s why Jamaicans don’t like frogs.
Now then, in case you’re wondering, and in anticipation of anyone asking: we also don’t like dogs. Okay, that may be a bit harsh, but for Jamaicans, dogs are outdoor animals. Dogs don’t belong in the house. Dogs don’t belong in your bed. Dogs don’t belong in your bathtub. Dogs don’t belong anywhere near your face. Period. This is how I was raised. So, imagine my absolute horror and trauma, when–as a child–upon arriving in the US and seeing television commercials and situation comedies with dogs in the house, in the bed, in the bathtub, and horror of horrors, licking people’s faces!!!! Egad! Sharing spit with a dog??? I wouldn’t even drink from the same soda bottle as my best friend!!
For Jamaicans, pets are functional. Jamaicans don’t buy food for pets. Dogs and cats earn our tolerance and their sustenance–table scraps, bones, and leftovers–by performing necessary tasks for the good of the household. Dogs bark at intruders. Cats catch mice. Got it? Good. Now you can stay. Outside.
If you have any Jamaican friends, you’ve no doubt observed that yes, Jamaicans will own fancy tail guppies and goldfish as pets, but even fish in an aquarium are not exempt from the JPFR (Jamaican Pet Functionality Requirement). Fish serve the function of beautifying the home. And even though we’ll buy food for them, we make that allowance because the food that fish require is not that expensive, and, last but not least, we don’t actually have to touch them. In other words, fish in a bowl are sort of like furniture. They are beautifying, observable, rearrangeable pets–the best type.
In any event, there’s your answer. Have a great day.